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You are here: Home / News / Humanities Institute lecture: Prof. Bruno Jean-François “De-insularization,” Oceanic Creolization and Transcolonial Poetics
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Humanities Institute lecture: Prof. Bruno Jean-François “De-insularization,” Oceanic Creolization and Transcolonial Poetics

Tuesday, October 23rd, 11:45-1:00. Sparks 124

While colonial imagination has persistently represented islands and archipelagoes of the Global South as vulnerable and fragmented isolates, one needs only consider Creole islands of the Mascarene region and the Antilles to appreciate how ‘insular’ histories and experiences relate more to stories of exchanges and encounters than one would initially imagine. Using the ‘New Thalassology’ and the idea of Oceanic Creolization as a relational framework for exploring multipolar connections, minor solidarities, and long-ignored forms of cosmopolitanism, this presentation discusses how the transcolonial and transoceanic imaginaries of two Mauritian poets—Edouard Maunick and Khal Torabully—disrupt the colonial taxonomies that have construed islands as spaces of colonial difference, isolation, and vulnerability. While their “de-insularization” of islands and their rewriting of geographies, temporalities, and epistemologies bridge the gap between landmasses and seas, oceans and archipelagoes, it also configures fluctuating horizons and symbolic spaces of relation from which minority, racialized, and subaltern subjects across multiple sites can interact in fruitful and lateral ways.